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Course & Subject Guides

Education Research - Oakland Campus

This guide is designed to help students in the School of Education with their Masters or PhD. level research.


PittCat PittCat is the main searching tool for all of the materials owned by the University Library System (ULS), including articles, books, ebooks, journal articles, ejournals, audio and video, digital images, government documents, microfilm and movies.

PittCat Searching

Signing into PittCat gives you immediate access to full-text. The sign in option is in the upper right hand corner of your screen. 

To begin a search, enter a term in the “search anything” box. You can select Books, Articles, and More to search for items across the entire library system including journal articles, images, ebooks, and more. Use the Library Catalog option to search for items available both electronically and physically in our libraries such as books, videos, music scores and more. The Course Reserves option will help you find materials put on reserve by instructors for a specific course.

The Results Screen shows you a list of items with basic information--click on a title to get a more detailed overview of the item you’ve selected. This detailed view gives you much more information about the item. You can see where the item is located and ways to email or print the record as well as how to cite. You may also see an abstract for the item or a table of contents if available.

You can Refine Your Results by using the menu on the left. If you only want a physical copy of the book pick “library holdings” or if you want an electronic copy of a book, choose e-book.

If Full-Text Content is available, you can get the full-text by clicking on the item title or the "available online" link.


If you want more control over your search results, use the Advanced Search option. The Advanced Search box can be accessed by clicking the Advanced Search link to the right of the single search box. Here it is highlighted in red

highlight of the advanced search link to the right of the search box

Advanced Search helps you focus your search using multiple search terms or phrases and includes built-in boolean operators that help you narrow or broaden your search. You can choose whether to search for Books, Articles, and More; Library Catalog; and Course Reserves prior to entering search terms.

Drop down menus help you refine and customize your search results:

  • The drop down menu in Any Field provides a list of searchable fields such as Title, Author, Subject, ISSN, etc. For example, Title allows you to limit your results to a specific journal title such as The New England Journal of Medicine.   
  • You can select where you want to search for a particular phrase using the menu listed under contains
  • Start date and End date ranges allows you to input a publication date range. 
  • Material type allows you to limit your search to journals, books, articles, images, and more.
  • Searches can be also limited by Language (e.g. Chinese, English, French, Spanish).


To get to My Account, log in to PittCat using the Sign In menu in the upper right corner.  Once you log in, you will be at the Overview page.  You can access several services using the headings at the top of the Overview page:

  • Loans lists you what you have borrowed and when those items are due back to the library.  You can renew any item by selecting that item and then clicking on the RENEW button for that item.
  • Requests lists any library material requests you have made.
  • Fines + Fees lists any fines or fees you have incurred.  You can use the Pay Fine link to pay your fines online.
  • Blocks + Messages details
  • Personal Details lists library account information like your home address or contact information.

As you search in PittCat, you can keep track of important catalog records by saving them to your Saved Records list.  To save a record you must be logged into PittCat.  Select the record you want to save, and select the push pin icon in the upper right of that record.

To see your saved records, click on your name in the upper right corner of PittCat to open the drop-down menu, and select My Favorites. Select the Saved Records heading to see a list of those items you have saved.

You can label your records for easy sorting.  In each record you should see an ADD LABEL button.  Select this button and type in the label you want on that record.  You can sort your records by label by using the Labels menu on the far right.

You can save a good search onto your Saved Searches list to rerun later.  To save a search, run a search.  Immediately below where you typed in your search, you should see the number of results listed, and to the right of that number, you should see a pushpin icon.  Select the pushpin icon to “pin” the search to your Saved Search list.


You can save a good search onto your Saved Searches list to rerun later.  To save a search, run a search.  Immediately below where you typed in your search, you should see the number of results listed, and to the right of that number, you should see a pushpin icon beside a Save Query heading.  Select the pushpin icon to “pin” the search to your Saved Search list.


To rerun a saved search, Go to Saved Searches in My Favorites, and select the hotlinked search title from your Saved Searches list.  PittCat will automatically rerun the search.

All books in our catalog PITTCat are labeled with Subject Headings to help users quickly find the subjects they need. Subject headings describe the main subjects or topics covered in a book, as shown by the headings in the red box on the left.  You can find an item's subject headings by looking at the SUBJECTS section of the full catalog record. 

Subject headings can help you expand your search for a particular subject.  If you find a useful book focused on a particular topic, simply click on a subject heading in the catalog record and PITTCat will search and retrieve all other materials on that topic.

Subject headings can also suggest alternative search terms.  In order to be as precise as possible about the meaning of a subject, subject headings use very specific, controlled vocabulary.   You can look up the right headings for your research by using the Subject Heading Indexes  located at the ground floor Hillman Library Information Desk.

You can also use PITTCat's Advanced Search to search PITTCat by a specific subject heading.


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